Keeping Your Business in Mind

AFCON defending champions edged out of completion by Cote d’Ivoire

By Antynet Ford

Lions of Teranga Coach Aliou Cisse apologized to the Senegalese for their hard-to-accept elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON) tournament by hosts Cote d’Ivoire on Monday.

Cisse said their elimination was a bitter pill to swallow and left players crying.

“I am disappointed after this result, especially for our players. We came here to win the title and play for our people. That’s football; in 2022, we were happy, and in 2024, the opposite is happening.” He said.

“Sorry to our players and to the Senegalese people. It’s tough to see the players cry in the locker room.” He added.

The AFCON defending champions lost 5-4 in a post-match penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

The Lions scored in the fourth minute courtesy of Habib Diallo’s superb strike with Sadio Mane providing the assist.

The Elephants drew back level from the spot in the 86th minute with Franck Kessie slotting home after a long Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

Senegal lacked the usual rhythm associated with their style of play, thanks to a determined performance from the Ivorians who relentlessly attacked after going down 1-0.

The persistent pressure disrupted Senegal’s game plan.

The match was strange and complicated; we could have won the game and Senegal lost on penalties after keeping the lead until the last 5 minutes of the match.

“I am disappointed after this defeat, especially after the performance we put in during the match and from the first match of the competition. We need to make changes after this defeat; we’ll see what happens in the future. There is sorrow, and our players are sad, as are the Senegalese people.” He said.

Cisse said they were well prepared for the competition, keeping in mind they won all their three matches in the group stage.

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